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Looking for system bottleneck, confused about system requirements

Aug 7, 2012 4:09 AM

Hi, I thought I had built a system that would work for me but there seems to be a bottleneck.  The problem is I cant work out what it it.


My first project is a mixture of Canon 550D DSLR footage and Panasonic AVCHD (from a prosuma handy-cam).  The AVCHD footage sometimes seems to play OK but as soon as I try playing the DSLR footage memory usige shoots up and I loose sync (even for the AVCHD footage, if I try to play it after playing DSLR footage sync is out, I have to restart PP).


I have a i5 550 (its a 3G i5 and acording to performance tests at outperforms some i7 such as i7 975 3.33GHz).  I am playing at 1/4 rez, cpu spends most of its time below 25%.  It seems go quite high sometimes when I start playing but goes down to 25% very quickly.


I am using a Seagate 3TB 7200 drive which shows > 90MB/s write and > 100 MB/s read.  I have 8GB system memory. I have a Nvida 550 Ti GPU.


I am running on Mac.  I did try installing the trial on Windows (same box) and sync seems to be better but it grinds to a halt fairly quickly and will not play (all my fast disks are formatted Mac so it may be disk speed that is causing the problem, its a little under 50MB/s).


So where is the bottleneck.  Ime kind of surprised as I thought it was possible to edit DSLR footage (at 1/4 rez) without getting as top notch laptop, I guess I believed the hype (I am using a desktop).


In terms of the stuff I am editing its documentary/factual so generally it is straight cuts with a few dissolves and a few titles. 


Are there any decent articles giving recomended and optimal system specifications, the ones I found on the Adobe site are very vage.



  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 7, 2012 4:46 AM   in reply to funkytwig

    Adobe Forums: What PC to build? An update...

    Adobe Forums: Guide for installing and tuning a Vista... also Win7

    Adobe Forums: System requirements for CS5

    Adobe Forums: Generic Guideline for Disk Setup


    and all the articles in the FAQ section.


    Your main problem appears to be a single disk, which is below minimum requirements. Your hardware specs are marginal for such source material and then running MAC OS does not help.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 7, 2012 6:09 AM   in reply to funkytwig

    Look here: PPBM5 Benchmark


    There is only one non-comparable submission using a MAC, but it was clearly disappointing in performance (about 2 times slower than a similarly equipped PC). However, MAC tends to use MOV formats, while on the PC AVI is used, so this can influence results. One thing one can say is that threading support was pretty bad with MAC's but again, maybe things have changed with Mountain Lion, I simply do not know.


    It appears however that MAC 's have more problems than Windows machines, just looking at the threads here on the forum. Now that may also be influenced by the technical expertise of MAC users, who historically could get by with simply plugging the machine into a wall outlet and get to work.


    Maybe this article will give you an inkling of what disks to buy: Adobe Forums: Planning / building a new system. Part 1

    Look under the tab 'Disks, PSU' and then hover to the 'Disks' topic.


    Basically it boils down to:


    • Samsung F3 on SATA2
    • WD Caviar Black on SATA3 and only for single disks or raid0
    • Seagate Barracuda XT on SATA3
    • Hitachi 7K3000 Deskstar on SATA3
    • For parity raids look at Seagate Constellation ES or Hitachi Ultrastar.
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 7, 2012 8:35 AM   in reply to funkytwig

    Moved to Hardware forum

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 7, 2012 9:36 AM   in reply to funkytwig

    I have yet to find a worthwhile benchmark on Tom's site. Their tests are so far removed from what you need for video editing and their tests are very lob-sided. In addition they can not be replicated by others, so one may wonder about the validity of their tests. This comes as no surprise, since they are very much oriented towards budget gamers, not towards NLE pro's as shown by the content of vtheir forums.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 7, 2012 1:25 PM   in reply to funkytwig

    Reformatting your drives to NTFS will do the trick. That is not a reason to get new disks. Increasing the number of disks is a valid argument.


    Seagate Barracuda gained a very lousy reputation with the 7200.11 series. They were a disaster. The 7200.12 series were somewhat better, the 7200.14 series may be better still, but Seagate reduced the warranty period to only 1 year. Not a good sign in my book. It is a clear sign that the company does not believe in the quality of its products.


    Just my $ 0.02

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